ConnectiCon is more than a parade of costumed youth.
The annual multi-genre convention offers performances, gaming, panels, and workshops. On the surface, it may seem like little more than Halloween in July, but the offerings are enough to compel guests, mainly teens, to get out of bed well before noon.
With panels like “Chinese Calligraphy,” “Don’t Stop the Beat: Getting into Hip-Hop,” “Harnessing the Power of Steampunk,” and the “History of Vaudeville,” it’s hard to not be intrigued.
The retail section was buzzing last weekend, with vendors selling everything from t-shirts to manga to rotating cat ears.
Though ConnectiCon organizers did not return messages before time of publication, no exact attendance number is needed to know that this gathering is a force to be reckoned with. The Star Shuttle was consistently full of passengers. Some local establishments even had the wherewithal to cater to the largely young audience. Sunberry on Pratt Street was open on Sunday; it normally is not. Spotlight Theatres Front Street was open 24/7 during the convention, offering discounts on food and tickets. The Subway near City Hall extended its hours until 2am on Friday and Saturday, along with offering a special. The Starbucks at the Marriott remained open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
This does not mean that Downtown was a free-for-all over the weekend. The police presence around the Connecticut Convention Center was noticeably greater than on an average day.
As for ConnectiCon guests, they seemed satisfied, with complaints generally restricted to those made every year: prices too high for food at convention center, no outside food allowed in the convention center, lines to pick up badges were long, and some scheduled events did not start on time.